Tuesday, February 10, 2009


What an interesting week it´s been. I am now back in Panama City, after spending the last several days along the northern coast of the country. This post stands between me watching the latest episode of LOST, so it´s gonna be short. Sorry.

Brandon and Ashley very kindly let me stay with them for four nights in their three-bedroom house in Playa Chiquita. I haven't seen them since their wedding in June, 2007, so it was great to visit them.

Their village is a two-mile walk from the nearest bus stop, unless you´re lucky enough to catch a ride (didn´t on the way, but managed one leaving). The walk includes fording a river that´s about a foot or so deep. We spent half the walk in the dark, eager to get back that evening, rather than spend the night in a neighboring town.

The village is quite small...about 50 people. There are more now that school is out for the ¨summer¨ (non-rainy season). And even though it´s supposedly the non-rainy season, we got lots of rain. Unfortunately, I didn´t enjoy a nice day until after I left their town. The wind was fierce: it nearly tore part of a neighbor's roof off one night. We also lost electricity for about 48 hours. I came back on just in time--our ipods were dead and their laptop didn´t have enough power for us to watch any DVDs. We spent much of the time playing cards, Scrabble and the like.

The entrance of the village

From panama

Part of the town.

From panama

Their house

From panama

We attempted to see a major cultural event on Saturday night in a neighboring town. Congo dancing is very big this time of year, in anticipation of Carnaval. That night was particularly big, as they were crowning the local Carnaval queen. But it got going so late that we gave up and went to bed. Disappointed.

I spent the last two nights on Isla Grande, just off the coast. This island is a popular day trip for locals to go to the beach. It's fairly minimally equipped, with just a handful of restaurants and lodgings. It was nice to relax, read and enjoy some very nice weather, save a few showers.

From panama

Anyway, I´m back in Panama City now and have one night here (and a half, i guess--I leave at 3 am thursday morning). I´ll check out a bit of the town and see the locks tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting home and freezing my ass off. OK, the last part´s a lie. But it will be good to see everyone again. I will post some recapping-type stuff soon and probably some unpublished photos as well. Adios!

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